Areas of Practice
  • New York University School of Law, J.D., 2002, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif
  • Cornell University, B.A., 1999
Judicial Clerkships
  • Hon. Edith B. Clement, US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Hon. Victor Marrero, US District Court, Southern District of New York
Bar & Court Admissions
  • New York

Charles A. Michael

1114 Avenue of the Americas
New York NY 10036
TEL: +1 212 378 7604
FAX: +1 212 506 3950

Charles Michael has successfully handled a wide range of commercial litigation matters, including cases involving allegations of breach of contract, fraud, theft of trade secrets, and intellectual property infringement.  He has considerable experience with litigation flowing from M&A transactions (such as indemnification and escrow disputes), with business partnerships that have soured, and with emergency proceedings to protect sensitive business information.

 Mr. Michael is also an experienced appellate advocate, having briefed and argued numerous appeals in the Second Circuit, First Department and other appeals courts.

Mr. Michael recently obtained a confirmation of an arbitration judgment worth approximately $200 million after highly contested trial court proceedings in the Southern District of New York.  He also recently obtained reversal, in the Second Circuit, of a $5 million judgment in a breach of contract case, and obtained reversal, in a New Jersey appellate court, of a $7 million judgment.

Mr. Michael was part of the trial team that obtained a complete victory after a bench trial of a $120 million suit relating to a collateralized debt obligation (CDO) transaction.  He also successfully obtained an injunction preventing two former executives from soliciting customers of a firm’s client pending an arbitration, and won an appellate decision reversing the trial court and dismissing a $200 million fraud and alter ego suit against a private equity firm.

Mr. Michael is also experienced in regulatory and criminal investigations.  He has represented clients under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

He is the founder and editor of the SDNY Blog which covers civil litigation and trial practice in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.  Additionally, Mr. Michael has recently given several presentations to in-house counsel at private equity firms and others about limiting the risk of being held responsible in court for portfolio company liabilities, and preserving the attorney-client privilege among corporate affiliates.

Representative Matters

  • Defeated a Japanese billionaire’s federal court petition to force a US-based global investment bank to produce, for purposes of a Japanese litigation, extensive discovery from the bank’s Japanese broker-dealer
  • Successful dismissal of multimillion-dollar breach of contract and fraud suit brought by real estate developer against project owner
  • Granted summary judgment for a home furnishings company accused of failing to pay over $20 million in alleged liabilities under an acquisition agreement
  • Defended software firm in dispute relating to $150 million acquisition of another software firm
  • Defended dietary supplement maker in multimillion-dollar lawsuit arising from the failed launch of a pre-workout beverage
  • Secured a preliminary injunction in a case involving theft of trade secrets
  • Successfully defended several asset purchasers in successor liability lawsuits in multiple jurisdictions
  • Granted summary judgment that largely disposed of case seeking $15 million in damages for alleged breaches of an oil rig lease and related contracts
  • Defended investment banking executive in multiple investigations relating to auction-rate securities market collapse
  • Successfully defeated, before trial court an on appeal, a motion to preliminarily enjoin a consumer products manufacturer from selling its largest brand
  • Defended private equity firm in $55 million wrongful termination lawsuit brought by its former president
  • Defended the former owners of the “Tinkerbell” trademark in a fraud and breach of contract action brought by a former licensee
  • Obtained summary dismissal of a securities fraud case against a publicly-traded technology firm
  • Obtained a preliminary injunction against a company improperly using a client’s trademarks
  • Represented a consumer products manufacturer in an lawsuit accusing two of the company’s former executives accounting fraud
  • Represented a public company in multibillion-dollar class action accounting fraud case
  • Successfully defended publicly-traded investment bank accused of understating options compensation in proxy statement
  • Represented bank in DOJ investigation of money transfers to sanctioned countries and entities


  • New York Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2013-2017

Select News & Events

Selected Publications

  • A Middle-Ground Approach To 'Piggybacking'
    June 2, 2015, Law360
  • Judge Rakoff Allows FIRREA Claims Where Bank’s Misconduct ‘Affects’ Itself
    August 23, 2013, The CLS Blue Sky Blog